PHARMACY

Shop ‘n Save Pharmacy offers DPCA diabetes control program

BY Allison Cerra

MINNETONKA, Minn. — Supervalu banner Shop ‘n Save Pharmacy has joined the UnitedHealth Group’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance.

As part of the alliance, Shop ‘n Save Pharmacy now is offering the DPCA diabetes control program at 26 locations in the St. Louis metro area. Through the program, the retailer will provide patient education and support from trained pharmacists by appointment to help people with diabetes better control their condition and reduce the risk of developing such complications as cardiovascular, kidney and eye disease. What’s more, pharmacists in these select Shop ‘n Save Pharmacy locations will conduct blood-glucose, cholesterol and blood-pressure testing services for program participants and provide them with on-the-spot results, enabling patients to get immediate feedback on their status or progress in managing their diabetes.

Currently, DPCA services are available at no additional out-of-pocket cost to participants enrolled in employer-provided health insurance plans through UnitedHealthcare and Medica in select markets.

"Supervalu is proud to partner with the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance to help make an impact on the nation’s diabetes epidemic through equipping and empowering patients to improve their health. Shop ‘n Save pharmacists are well-positioned to improve our patients’ health due to their accessibility, training and experience in coordinating health care services," Supervalu pharmacies president Chris Dimos said.

Shop ‘n Save serves the greater St. Louis, Mo., Springfield, Ill. and Jerseyville, Ill., areas and also operates a store in Peoria, Ill.


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PHARMACY

Diabetics encouraged to get hearing checked

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — People with diabetes are at increased risk of hearing loss, which has prompted two groups to encourage those living with the disease to have their hearing checked.

The American Diabetes Association and the Better Hearing Institute are launching the effort as part of the ADA’s Diabetes Alert Day, on Tuesday, which also includes an effort to encourage people to check if they are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that hearing loss is about twice as common in adults with diabetes as in those without it, while a study conducted at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital on women agesd 60 to 75 years found that those whose disease was well-controlled had hearing levels similar to those of similar age without the disease, compared with women who did not control their disease well.

"Unaddressed hearing loss negatively affects virtually every aspect of a person’s life, from cognitive function to emotional well-being, making it all the more difficult for people with diabetes to cope with their disease," Better Hearing Institute executive director Sergei Kochkin said. "By taking our free, quick and confidential online hearing check, at Hearingcheck.org, anyone can determine if they need a comprehensive hearing test by a hearing professional."


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NACDS RxImpact Day ‘astounding’ as pharmacy advocates conduct more than 350 congressional meetings

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill showcased the unsurpassed value of community pharmacy as pharmacy advocates from 41 states conducted more than 350 meetings with U.S. senators and representatives this week.

Community pharmacy advocates — including pharmacists, pharmacy students and other pharmacy supporters — met with 86% of members of Congress who serve on congressional committees with jurisdiction on healthcare issues.

Community pharmacy advocates wore white coats and bright blue stickers on their lapels stating, “Ask Me What Pharmacies Do!” — creating an important opportunity for lawmakers to further understand how community pharmacies help patients maintain and improve their health, and help drive down healthcare costs.

Advocates discussed a variety of issues with lawmakers, including urging them to write the Federal Trade Commission in opposition to the proposed pharmacy benefit manager mega-merger of Express Scripts and Medco.  Other issues included urging increased access to medication therapy management services, maintaining pharmacy choice and access in the Tricare program, addressing PBM issues in a way that improves patient care and ensuring fair and adequate pharmacy reimbursement in federal healthcare programs.

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., offered remarks during an issue briefing held during the event, emphasizing his support for community pharmacy as sponsor of the Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act (S. 1058).  Pryor also received the NACDS Congressional Leadership Award, in recognition of his commitment to pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policy.

Sen. John Tester, D-Mont., Reps. Mike Ross, D-Ark., and Lee Terry, R-Neb., submitted official comments to the Congressional Record in support of their constituents and community pharmacy in lead-up to NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill.

Pharmacy advocates who were unable to attend the NACDS event in person participated in the NACDS RxImpact Virtual Hill Day.  Demonstrating an overwhelming show of support for this week’s Hill event, the Virtual Hill Day program generated more than 2,000 communications to more than 270 members of Congress.

“The enthusiasm for this year’s NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill was astounding,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson saod. “This annual event — now in its fourth year — built on the fantastic progress of the three great fly-in events that preceded it. The overwhelming support by pharmacy advocates — both in person in Washington, D.C., and via electronic communications from across the country — demonstrated the focus and urgency of telling the story of community pharmacy to lawmakers, and drawing important distinctions on key pro-patient, pro-pharmacy issues.”


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